Change clocks, smoke alarm batteries this weekend
Don't forget to set your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night before bedtime. The time officially changes to Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m. Sunday when the time will become 3 a.m.
It reverts to Standard Time (set clocks back one hour) at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday of October.
A federal law that is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation requires Daylight Saving Time, unless an area of the United States exempts itself from the law.
A good way to remember which direction to move the hands on the clock for daylight savings and standard time is "Spring forward; fall back."
In August 2005, President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which requires changes in 2007. That year, daylight saving time will begin the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November.
The Kansas State Fire Marshal's office encourages all Kansans to change the batteries and clean all the smoke detectors in their homes when the time changes in the spring and fall.
The Kansas Smoke Detector Act calls for at least one working smoke detector on every inhabited level of a residence.
The National Fire Protection Association survey found that 96 percent of households had at least one smoke alarm. In one-quarter of the reported fires in homes equipped with smoke alarms, the devices did not work.
Households with non-working smoke alarms now outnumber those with no smoke alarms. Smoke alarms fail most often because of missing, disconnected or dead batteries.
It is also important that smoke alarms be replaced every 10 years.
maintaining smoke alarms:
¢ Choose a smoke alarm that bears the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
¢ Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside all sleeping areas.
¢ For added safety, install smoke alarms in every room where people sleep.
¢ To increase safety, have a qualified electrician install hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms so when one sounds, they all sound.
¢ Install a new battery in all smoke alarms at least once a year. Install a new battery immediately if an alarm "chirps" to indicate a low battery.
¢ Replace smoke alarms that use extended-life, lithium batteries when the alarm "chirps" or fails to respond to periodic testing. The batteries in these units cannot be replaced.
¢ Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
¢ Test smoke alarms every month. Use the test button, or an approved smoke substitute, and clean the units, according to manufacturer's instructions. Do not use an open-flame device to test the alarm.
¢ Special smoke alarms are made for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These alarms use strobe lights. Vibrating devices may also help in some cases.
Other fire safety tips:
¢ Check flashlight batteries. Always keep a working flashlight near your bed, in the kitchen, basement and family room. Not only will this help you signal for help in the event of a fire but can be used during other emergencies like storms or power outages.
¢ Install fire extinguishers in or near the kitchen and know how to use it.
¢ Make sure children know and understand fire safety. Children are at double the risk of dying in a home fire because they often become scared and confused during fires. Show children where smoke alarms are located and make sure they recognize the sound.
¢ Plan and practice escape routes. Identify at least two different escape routes and practice them with the entire family.